Money or happiness?

Should a letter writer pursue his dream? 

Our elder is all in favour of doing a job you love; in the meantime, a spreadsheet will help narrow down the options.


Dear EWC

I need advice on my career or job change. I currently work as a drafting engineer making good money, however I am starting to become unhappy with my job. I got this job a year ago from an old co-worker from my past job at a local McDonalds. He introduced me to his father who is the VP at the company I work at. I had no prior knowledge about electrical engineering and he still hired me. I was very grateful for getting an opportunity to make more money and possibly learn more and make a career out of it. 

Now today I feel miserable. I feel as if I’m not learning much anymore. I still tend to make mistakes and perhaps this industry isn’t for me. I feel anxiety going to work. The people here are very kind. I just seemed to have lost my connection within the industry. Recently I have also wanted to pursue my dreams and give them a try. I want to be a content creator on YouTube, stream on Twitch and just talk about my hobbies. My job however will probably get in the way since I work every weekday for nine hours. Also I drive one hour to work and back. I have a commute. Should I value money over happiness? Happiness over money? If I do plan on switching and leaving my job, I would need to get a new job where I would most likely get paid much less than what I am currently making, however I would get more hours in the day to use as time for my hobbies and dreams. Hopefully you can help me if this is the right choice or if I should stay and try to work on my dreams alongside it. 


Gabriel-A replies

Thank you for your letter. I give you credit for wanting to spend your working life doing something that you love. Most people are not that fortunate and of course many don’t risk the chance to find it. Although it’s easier to do it when you’re young, I’m reminded of Colonel Sanders who created Kentucky Fried Chicken when he was in his sixties; hence, it’s never too late.

This may or may not apply to you, but it’s not unusual for your family to encourage you to pick a career that seemingly offers a stable employment option. They of course want you to have a good life. However, in your youth, I believe it’s important to take a chance on your passion. Most people don’t and to some extent regret it later in life. Also, youth affords you the opportunity to try something and if it doesn’t work out, you have time to get involved in something else. Many times, skills that you’ve learned in one area can transfer over to another, therefore, your education will always be an asset to you.

One thing I would recommend is to try the career that you think you will be happiest in first. Within reason, I’ve found that being happy in your work is much more important than how much money you make. I’ve known many people over the years that were prosperous and miserable. Make sure that you at least reasonably enjoy your work. We all spend much of our life there.

As for your options, I would recommend creating a spreadsheet of your expenses to determine what type of job you can live with so that you can have the time to devote to your passions. Then, give yourself a reasonable amount of time to fulfill your dreams. At some point, if they don’t become a reality, you may need to face going back to a ‘regular job’, but you can still find something that is more in line with your passions. Remember that there are a lot of career choices and again, a spreadsheet can help you narrow down your preferences if necessary. Also, in my experience, a future employer would not hold it against you for pursuing your dreams. Most people don’t.

Article #: 462372

Category: Career

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